The Roaring Twenties
Click on the photos to see a larger version (with a few exceptions)!
Unable to decide whether I wanted to go to graduate school in Classical Archaeology or Historic Archaeology, I took a few years off to wander.
I moved to Australia, where I lived in Sydney in a tiny old Victorian row house. The toilet was in the backyard. There was a derelict church at the end of the street next door to a halfway house for ex-cons, and a Hari Krishna group around the corner that sang day and night. For a while, I worked for the Anthropology Department of the University of Sydney on a prehistoric dig down in Lancefield, Victoria. We slept in tents on a sheep station.
Due to the water shortage, we were allowed a shower every fourth day. The dig was in a swamp. Think about that.
Leaving Australia, I meandered through Asia and Africa. Think treks through the jungles of New Guinea. Drinks at Raffles. Safaris in Kenya. This is a photo of me with a friend in Hong Kong—or was it Singapore?
I moved to England and went to work for the Winchester Rescue Archaeological Unit. We lived in an abandoned Victorian chocolate factory (oh, the glamour of archaeology) just across the street from Winchester Cathedral. Some of my best memories are of warm summer evenings spent listening to the bell ringers practice ringing the changes, and nights crowding around the stove and throwing darts down at the local pub.
I traveled from one end of Europe to the other. It was alternately trying, educational, and glorious. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking, I need to DO something with my life. Something else.
What does a classics major do when she's decided she doesn't want to get a PhD in archaeology? She gets an MA in Middle Eastern history and is recruited by the CIA…
Yes, really. But having read this far, you didn't expect THAT to last either, now did you?
I had discovered that I actually enjoyed graduate school, and of course I have always loved history. So I decided to get a PhD in eighteenth- and nineteenth- century European history and become a college professor. I spent a year in Paris doing research for my doctoral dissertation. I lived in a proverbial garret on the Isle de la Cite, a seventh floor walkup, toilet three floors down. But the view of the Seine and the Louvre was great, and if I crawled out the window onto the roof I could also see the towers of Notre Dame.
Then, Ph.D in hand, I set off for Midwestern State University in Texas for a tenure-track job as an assistant professor. Except that, after a year and a summer, I started getting restless…
on to Looking For Life...